The Get Lit Players, a performance poetry group of Los Angeles high school students is performing this week at sophomore and junior class meetings as part of Poetry Week, hosted by the English and Visual Arts departments. The group will recite classic poetry and the players’ original poems that are reactions to those poems. Although the group will not be performing in a senior class meeting, English teacher Sasha Watson said that seniors are welcome to attend the other two performances Feb. 13 during third period and Feb. 14 during fifth period. The English Department will also begin holding meetings Feb. 24 for a performance poetry team at Harvard-Westlake to participate in the Get Lit Classic Poetry Slam, a performance poetry competition this May. The students participating will work with English teachers Caroline Miller and Eric Olson to prepare for the competition in. Poetry Week will also feature screenings of videos of students performing their own poetry. The students are also putting up banners featuring poetry quotes around campus.
In addition to the events, sophomores will study poetry in their English classes this week, and some Latin classes will focus on studying poetry.
Poetry Week is meant to serve as a test-run for the Harvard-Westlake Poetry Festival, which will be held on a Saturday next fall. After Poetry Week, interested students will be able to attend meetings to help plan the festival. The festival will be open to students and faculty from Harvard-Westlake and up to 30 other schools in the area. Watson hopes that attendees will hear a keynote address from a poet and attend some workshops. The workshops will cover writing and publishing for students, and teachers will attend workshops on teaching poetry and creating poetic community among students.
“I hope they get the excitement of creating and reading and looking closely at poetry,” Watson said. “I want the idea of poetry as a vibrant art form that’s really relevant to all of us.”